Found an interesting story at Slate about a Texas alternative newsweekly that takes plagiarism to a whole new level. Jody Rosen‘s piece, "Dude, You Stole My Article" is an account of thievery so brazen that it makes you wonder how nobody noticed earlier.
In January 2007, Rogen wrote a profile on Jimmy Buffett for Slate. A year later, he got an e-mail from a reader about how his story was "reproduced wholesale without attribution" in Bulletin, a Montgomery County, TX newsweekly. Jody thought this was odd, and started doing some digging. What he uncovered was beyond outrageous. Seems Bulletin‘s editorial style was to take huge chunks of other writers’ work and stitch them into an unholy patchwork of plagiarism. And they didn’t rob from backwater publications, either — Bulletin purloined pieces from Rolling Stone, USA Today and NME, to name a few.
Writing anything serious about Jimmy Buffett is probably a crime. But Bulletin‘s hijacking of content is unconscionable. There’s probably no chance of redress from the paper, so public humiliation is the best option.
This former music writer sez F-U to Bulletin, and all the other plagiarists out there.
UPDATE: I should’ve made it more clear that Bulletin is not a sanctioned alt-newsweekly, meaning they aren’t members of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies — the trade group your local rag probably belongs to. (You know, like the Village Voice, City Paper, Chicago Reader, The Stranger, Seven Days, etc.) Jody Rosen was under the impression that Bulletin is a member of the Alternative Weekly Network, which is sort of the lesser body of free liberal papers. As it turns out, Bulletin was lying about that, too.